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Greatest Modern Sports Characters: 5 Roles That Live on Through the Big Screen

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 12:39 AM

Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed from the “Rocky” Series

Two of the greatest modern sports characters came from the same movie franchise. Both Rocky Balboa and Apollo stand out against all of the rest in the field. It all began in the 1976 film, “Rocky.” In Philadelphia, where Rocky’s character is from and much of the movies were filmed, Rocky is almost treated as a real person. As Visit Philadelphia reports, a bronze statue of Rocky was created for the third movie and after the movie was finished the statue itself was donated to the city by Sylvester Stallone.

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It remains at the base of the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Many visitors to the city recreate the famous climb up to the steps of the museum from the original 1976 movie and take their picture with the statue.



Apollo Creed, originally the villain in the first movie, became a beloved character during the third movie, when he helped train Rocky for his fight against Clubber Lang. From that point on, fans abandoned their disdain for the opportunistic former champion who only fought Rocky as a publicity stunt and saw him in a better light. Fans then mourned his death in the next film at the hands of Ivan Drago. Creed’s legacy is a major part of the upcoming seventh movie in the franchise, with Movie Insider reporting that Rocky will train Apollo’s grandson, Adonis, to become a boxer.

Ron Tidwell from “Jerry Macguire”

“Show me the money!,” that infamous line from “Jerry Macguire,” comes in at number 25 on the American Film Institute’s greatest movie quotes of all time. In a movie that features two main characters that do not deserve to be liked or respected, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Ron Tidwell captures the hearts of those watching the movie.

Similar to how audiences changed their opinion regarding Apollo Creed over a period of multiple movies, Tidwell managed to make it happen in less than three hours.

Crash Davis from “Bull Durham”

“Bull Durham” may never be considered a masterpiece. However, the American Film Institute has determined that it was the ninety-seventh on their funniest American movies of all time list. That is due in large part to the character of Crash Davis, the career minor league catcher played by Kevin Kostner.

The veteran actor has a true passion for baseball, having played in several baseball themed movies, including “For Love of the Game” and “Field of Dreams.” It was Davis’ memorable lines in the movie that helped earn the position on the AFI’s list. The interaction between Davis and Tim Robbins’ character has been repeated many times by fans of the film.

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Carl Spackler from “Caddyshack”

Many people may not recognize the character Carl Spackler because his last name was rarely, if ever, mentioned in the movie that made his character one of the most quoted characters of all time. The movie was “Caddyshack” and the actor who played Carl was Bill Murray. It could be argued that Carl is not an athlete and does not belong on a list of the greatest modern sports characters. However, while Carl was only the assistant groundskeeper for the country club, his desire to play golf is clearly evident.

There are so many quotes from the movie that continue to in popular culture, even after more than 30 years since the movie was released. Carl’s most famous quote was from when he destroyed some flowers at the Bushwood Country Club while imagining himself becoming the PGA’s Masters Champion. He said, “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!” That quote was number 92 on the AFI’s greatest movie quotes of all time.

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Two of the greatest modern sports characters came from the same movie franchise. Both Rocky Balboa and Apollo stand out against all of the rest in the field.
modern, sports, characters, films, movies
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2015-39-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 12:39 AM
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